Race report curtesy of Tracey Palmieri:
"Brecca Coniston Sprint - its not a sprint! It was definately the hardest thing I've ever done especially with swimming being my least confident activity. Two laps around the Blue Lagoon is a real push sometimes also the cold was one of mine and Rachel Carling's biggest concerns. I actually cut an old wetsuit in the end for desperation of a little thicker neoprene!The course was beautiful and I realised how much I love off road running. It is a really well organised, well marked, route although looking for red markers can be a little tricky when you are so cold you can't form words because your lips are still frozen from the last swim as you head to the next. We only made one little detour but we took a couple of teams with us so could have been tactics rather than a mistake! We had five swims each in a different lake/mere. One was actually a very enjoyable swim, the last one seeming to go on forever and the water even went pitch black at one point which was odd so I looked up just to make sure it was only the water!! Having a good team mate is essential. Rachel Carling and I were well matched although none of it seemed to phase her except maybe the hill at the very start was I think perhaps Rachel's moment of realisation of what we had entered! It was very steep and long and then slippery tree roots with a stoney decent to the first swim. We were very hot at this point expecting it to be a good thing but only heightened the shock of the water temperature. My realisation of 'what the hell had we got into' was in Lake Windermere part way through the swim, this lake had proper waves - I was not expecting that! I did have a moment wondering how was I going to do four more swims, and how long would Rachel hate me for if i climbed into the rescue kayak!! At this point Rachel realised my dilemma and was very kind and patient and offered to do breaststroke, but I had already given that a go and it doesnt work very well especially with trainers and a pull bouy. So only one other option 'get on with it' so we did and we survived. Many words of encouragement that people from the club have given me over the years got me throughthe swim. Greg Blount's calm, smooth and lots of bubbles and Jane Britten's encouragement during most events and training sessions together. Remembering James Knight's elegant smooth swim stroke and attempting to mimic it! Anything but thinking about the waves, distance and the rest of the race! Thankfully that was my lowest point, the rest was enjoyable fun and I would love to do it again, especially knowing what's coming; BUT a little warmer would be nice!! Need to say thank you to Rachel for being a brilliant and lovely team mate, Suzy Hawkins and Michelle Reeves for very kindly lending us their kit which I know is not cheap, but they didn't hesitate. Also their tips for the event and Chris Clark and James Parsons for their tips and bringing it to Rachel's attention in the first place. Finally the club, coaches and members, without whom I would never had got to the start line of many races, especially this one. It is a fantastic club, thank you xxx."
Tracey Palmieri and Rachel Carling set off on the Brecca Coniston Swim Run.